Lighter moments around Covid-19 are about as rare as Free Presbyterians at a Vatican conclave. So all the more reason to relish them when they unexpectedly turn up uninvited.
A good friend who returned from a skiing trip in northern Italy a few weeks back was more than a bit surprised to find his front door bolted shut. In the porch he found a cooler bag of fresh food (including a few ribeye steaks) and another stuffed with enough warm clothes to see him through a fortnight.
Out of the letterbox a voice belonging to his beloved wife announced it was nothing personal, she loved him and all that, but she wasn't letting him in. Not even to go to the loo.
Instead, his mission - should he decide to accept it (as if he had a choice) - was to take the high road to the Maharees in seaside Kerry where they owned a mobile home.
There, as told by this disembodied but determined voice, he would have to self-isolate for 14 days.
His nearest-and-dearest's logic was uncontestable. While he was away Lombardy had gone into lockdown, the Italians were dropping like flies and, for all she knew, he could be riddled with five or six of the 19.
As well as that, they were putting up students and she couldn't have it on her conscience.
The zombie apocalypse might come to Limerick in its own good time, but it wouldn't arrive through her hall door. That was that.
So off he went and did his solitary confinement with Saorview as his sole conduit of company and culture. That and a few 'Bourne Identity' DVDs, complemented by a collection of well-thumbed Maeve Binchys.
At first the novelty was great but novelties don't like to outstay their welcome. He would have climbed the tin walls if they were tall enough. Instead they just closed in on him.
Within days, as revealed in a despairing WhatsApp thread, he fantasised about getting a gentle dose of the bug if only so he could be rescued by masked medics in a warm ambulance.
But he stuck it out. Didn't even go to the pub once, nor speak to as much as a sinner. And Kerry, as we know, is full of both.
Home now, he's learning to speak again and is beginning to feel his toes for the first time in ages.
Ask not what your country can do for you, but what your wife reckons you can do for your country. Patriot.
'Ode to Joy', played loud, can block out the noise
There is no escape. It's everywhere. Not the virus itself, or not yet anyway, but the incessant noise around it.
Continually nagging away at our hearts and minds, it's delivering stress and anxiety to levels many find difficult to cope with.
This awful curse is a threat to our mental wellbeing every bit as much as to our physical health.
There are few enough places to find refuge, but find these places we must. Even if only for snatches of minutes at a time.
I found mine in a not unexpected place, but I still had to make the effort to look.
For no particular reason, and by fluke, I found my way to 'Beethoven's Ninth' and, in particular, the 'Fourth Movement'.
I played 'Ode to Joy' loud, allowing it to completely block everything else out.
It's sheer beauty and power were overwhelming.
On another day and in different circumstances it might have meant something else, but on this occasion it was about human resilience; our innate ability to defy and overcome anything.
I won't lie, it had me brimming.